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Mustang Decision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by burpgun, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. burpgun


    Jun 29, 2015
    Hey folks. I'm looking to get a Mustang bass and am trying to make sense of Fender's current offerings. Does anyone have a sense if there's a significant sound difference between the JMJ Mustang, with its period correct pickup, and the newer PJ offerings, which look like they have the electronics from their longer-necked relatives? This is just about the P pickup--I never use the Jazz pickup, even on my US Jaguar. I'm trying to decide whether to go for the black JMJ that's coming out, or save some bucks on one of the current PJ offerings. Thanks for any input.
  2. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
  3. That's going to be so dependent on your musical taste. I've never cared for the traditional Mustang tone. I like the PJ because I think it cops a P-bass tone the best, so there's my $.02, but lots of people will have other criteria that will cause them to lean toward the JMJ, Vintera, American, Squier, etc.

    Methinks YMMV will apply to you in spades here.
    P_Dubby likes this.
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    In my hunt for a nice Mustang bass I found the P/Js more to my liking than the other Mustang versions I tried including the JMJ. I especially like the tone of my all black Mustang P/J LE with the ebony fingerboard. The regular pickup Mustangs sound like Mustangs but my LE P/J has more P thrown in when using the P pickup alone which I really like. I'm not a fan of bridge pickups so I don't use it.
  5. silentmike


    May 20, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    Very much this. Some people want a smaller P Bass, but in my opinion the strength of the Mustang is the Mustang pickup. It has a different inherant tone.

    As ever, your best bet is to find some to try out, but failing that, I'm sure there are lots of clips on YouTube that will give you an idea of the tones available.

    FWIW, I've got a 76 Mustang and a SS Jag. I much prefer the tone of the 'stang even when I changed the pickup on the Jag to match.
  6. burpgun


    Jun 29, 2015
    Thanks for the input folks. I’m generally oriented toward long-scale Precision basses and my main guy is the 1975 in my avatar. I’ve got a couple of SS Jags, and I like them. As best as I can tell their main defining attribute for the sound is the scale and not the electronics. And I tend to play a little crunched out all the time with a Sansamp VT pedal. That’s always complicated me judging review videos, as my usual tone is not what demo guys go for, understandably. I’ve increasingly been interested in short-scales for comfort as my aging hands aren’t as limber as they once were. I also think flats on a short-scale is a pretty divine tone. I suspect that I wouldn’t fine much difference between a traditional Mustang pickup and whatever they’re slapping in the PJs, but I definitely wondered if there was something noticeably different.
  7. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Exactly, I have the CIJ Mustang Bass and added the Mustang P/J LE precisely because its tone is more like an excellent P bass I have than I could get from the CIJ or any of the other regular Mustangs I tried. Exactly what I was looking for. Now I have both options.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
    P_Dubby and silentmike like this.
  8. IMO in the context of a mix, and especially if you're using dirt, they all sound pretty similar. Keep in mind the JMJ comes with flats which sound great but I'm strongly considering picking up a second one to keep rounds on.

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